Microsoft wants you to forget Windows 8.  Look to Vista for how Redmond will treat Windows 8 as it moves on to the next bright, shiny OSwin8pro

As talk of the next Windows begins to build and some details of what most are calling for now either Windows 9 or Threshold come into focus, it’s worthwhile to take a moment to remember Windows 8 because Microsoft will want everyone to forget it. And we will.

Unless the Redmond, Wash. technology company radically changes its habits, it will throw Windows 8 down a memory hole even before the successor ships. Just like it made Vista persona non grata in its official messaging in 2009, it will shove Windows 8 so far into the background that we’ll need the Hubble telescope to find it.

Not that that’s unusual. All companies fake amnesia to a stunning degree, even when what they want to forget — more importantly, what they want customers to forget.  It’s always about next year’s shiny object, not last year’s.

Vista redux

To see the future for Windows 8, look at how Microsoft treated Windows Vista — the 2007 edition that launched late and quickly garnered negative reviews that painted a reputation from which it never recovered.

In the months leading up to the launch of Windows 7, Vista’s successor — and a wildly successful one at that — Microsoft came close to banning the word “Vista” from press releases, its most official line of communications to the media, investors, partners and customers.

Not only has Microsoft acknowledged that its share of all computing devices — smartphones, tablets, personal computers — now hovers at 14%, a far cry from its near monopoly as late as 2010, but the company certainly understands how poorly Windows 8 has performed even within the small segment composed of desktop and notebook computers.

The newer OS has outsold Vista, certainly, about 31% better according to calculations based on stated sales milestones that were then turned into per-month figures for Windows 8′s first 16 months and Vista’s first 19. But Windows 8 has lagged far behind its predecessor, Windows 7. The latter bested Windows 8 by 113% on a per-month basis calculated for its first 15 months.